Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has introduced legislation that would strengthen the Constitution’s presidential removal procedures. Blumenauer filed the bill as a result of concerns about President Donald Trump’s erratic and improper behavior.
Currently, the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, adopted half a century ago, is in place to define such procedures. According to the 25th Amendment, the vice president assumes the role of president in case the president is removed from office, dies, or resigns.
Another option is for the vice president and a majority the Cabinet to declare that the president is unfit to serve. If a president refuses to step down, a two-thirds majority is required in both houses of Congress to force his resignation.
Blumenthal’s bill — cleverly called the No Taxpayer Revenue Used to Monetize the Presidency Act, or NO TRUMP Act — would allow former presidents and vice presidents of any party to work with the sitting vice president to determine if the president is fit for office.
He said in a statement:
It is hard to imagine a better group to work with the vice president to examine whether the president is able to discharge the duties of the office. When there are questions about the president’s ability to fulfill his or her constitutional responsibilities, it is in the country’s best interest to have a mechanism in place that works effectively.
Because the cabinet can be fired by the president, there is a natural bias that would make them reluctant to acknowledge the president’s inability to serve. It’s time to revisit and strengthen the Amendment and make sure there is a reliable mechanism in place if the president becomes unable to discharge the powers and duties of office.
Blumenauer first addressed what he called Trump’s “erratic” behavior in February, shortly after Trump had made baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and lied about crowd size and weather at his inauguration.
In addition to Trump’s often bizarre behavior, Blumenauer has been concerned about Trump’s continued refusal to distance himself from his sprawling business network.
“It’s a very real problem that he’s further enriching his enterprises,” Blumenauer said.